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The Biomedical Engineer and the Health Care System

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1 Author(s)
Brown, J.H.U. ; Southwest Research Consortium, San Antonio, Tex. 78284.

The future of biomedical engineering is not in the classroom or the laboratory. The funds available are simply not designed to support the further development of a basic science base, and they are miniscule compared with the nearly $100 billion per year spent on health care. The biomedical engineer must turn his attention to problems of the system as a whole. Each year the cost of medical care rises sharply and unfortunately a part is due to the often unnecessary sophistication or over-development of instrumentation. Research and development are badly needed in the areas of automation. Need for computer controls, communications and transportation, system design, optimum utilization of resources, and redesign of the system to provide health care where the people are rather than where the doctor is located are all indications that the biomedical engineer can find a fruitful career in these areas rather than in the rapidly saturating areas of teaching and basic research.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:BME-22 ,  Issue: 2 )